The latest episode of Katy Keene should come with a warning: Be careful what you wish for.
After scoring an apprenticeship with Guy LaMontagne, Katy learns that even she can have a bad "first day," which leaves her scrambling to make things right before she gets the ax.
Meanwhile, Josie is struggling to form her new band while being filmed for a documentary and thwarting Mr. Cabot's plans to control her music career. Jorge's dealing with more relationship drama, Pepper's got a Twitter troll, and the rest of us are happy to be entertained by other people's problems during this weird, stressful time.
We're Jessica Toomer and Alyssa Fikse and we're going to escape into the low-stakes world of Katy Keene for a while. Join us?
Warning: This discussion contains spoilers for Season 1, Episode 9 of Katy Keene.
A Hard Day’s Night
Alyssa: We’re back in NYC after a brief hiatus, and things are quite honestly as frustrating as ever. Katy is starting her new apprenticeship with Guy and is worried about being perfect, despite the fact that this entire show’s premise is about how everything always works out for Katy even when she massively bungles things. But I digress. Katy shows up for her first day of work, and apparently Guy’s cool exterior is all fake because his studio is TENSE. He can’t focus on his latest collection (relatable) but he also doesn’t want anyone else to interfere, so he just barks insults at everyone while his sister Gal tells him that he needs to nail this pitch to Lacy’s or they’re in major trouble. Somehow, Katy gets caught in the crossfire and sent home to change because her outfit is too distracting. Katy finds a lot of security in her impeccable fashion sense, so this slight sends her into a tailspin.
Jessica: I knew all those heart-shaped appliques would get her in trouble one day. Katy has the kind of cringe-worthy first day on the job that everyone dreads — it brought some serious PTSD flashbacks to my own internship at a pretty big publication. It was someone’s birthday. There was a lunchtime party. I ate a bagel at my desk while everyone else had beers in the conference room. Super depressing. Anyhoo, it’s almost as bad for Katy who’s really pinning all her hopes on this apprenticeship with Guy. I feel for her, I really do but also, who wouldn’t get annoyed with some new girl just hovering over you asking how she can help while you’re trying to create the final look of a make-or-break collection? Katy loves to be busy but that she needs to learn when to dial back that go-getter attitude.
Alyssa: Listen, Katy genuinely wants to help, and it makes sense that fixing the things that Guy complains about would be the way to go about this. However, Guy is in A Mood, and Katy’s meddling only makes things worse. Edison lightbulbs and flowers aren’t the right answer, so Katy instead finds herself in a cycle of criticism and hand stitching. To be fair to Katy, this seems like an extremely bad time. Gloria finds her crying over her bloody fingers in Lacy’s bathroom and gives her the pep talk that she needs. Gloria can be difficult at times, but I really do think that she is rooting for Katy to succeed. Katy decides that the best way to make up for overstepping is to overstep, even more, taking one of Guy’s designs from the trash to bring his design to life at home that night in order to fill the gap in his collection. You’re in danger, girl.
Jessica: Why? Why are you like this, Katy Keene? I truly think her job with Gloria has conditioned her to be such a people pleaser that she just can’t see what a bad idea this is. To be fair, Guy didn’t seem to have anything to present that would round out his collection so even though Gloria ended up tearing the design to shreds — she didn’t know it was Katy’s but Guy did and he made her sit through that critique like the sadist he is — at least it helped him avoid showing up empty-handed? I appreciate the way the show is trying to put Katy through the wringer (though we all know she’ll be fine in the end) but I had hoped she’d have thicker skin than this. Girl, you’re a damn New Yorker. You don’t cry to your old boss about pricked fingers and a guy not liking you every time you get rejected. As peppy and upbeat as Katy is, she really needs to work on her self-confidence.
Alyssa: She really does. She snags some fabric from work and mocks up the design at home while Pepper complains about an Internet mob led by “Hannah Melvy” (We get it, Pepper is a scammer) that’s ruining her online life. Katy shows up to work and sets up her dress with the rest of the collection, and Guy is understandably taken aback. However, Gal sees the “completed” collection and is delighted, so Guy really has no choice but to bring it along with him for his pitch to Gloria. He warns Katy that Gloria isn’t going to like her dress and brings her along so she can see Gloria’s disappointment herself. Katy is an odd mix of self-confidence and self-loathing because she clearly thinks that the work she did is at least close in quality to the ones that Guy, a seasoned designer, made. KATY.
Jessica: Where is the sense? Luckily for Katy Guy seems to have a heart somewhere in that beanstalk of a body so while she’s weeping and packing up her sewing kit he’s giving her some productive criticism and assuring her she still has a job. Anyone else would’ve been fired five times over by now but Katy’s nothing if not lucky. Josie on the other hand? That girl did not hit the lottery when she got involved with the Cabot family.
Alyssa: This episode was broken down into three distinct segments focusing on the major three, and Josie’s was filmed like a documentary, which was an odd creative choice, but it mostly worked for me. After being told by Alex that Mr. Cabot expected her to shift from a solo act back to a band, Josie has been working on getting into the right headspace in order to revive The Pussycats. While she isn’t convinced that going back to a band is a forward-moving choice, Josie is ready to audition some local talent. However, she shows up at the studio and Mr. Cabot has already enlisted some in-house models to fill out the band. Models without a shred of musical talent. Josie is understandably pissed, and she tells Alex that she doesn’t care what his dad says, she’s holding her own auditions to find girls who can actually sing and play instruments. Seems like that should be the bare minimum requirement for joining a band.
Jessica: No shade to The Pussycat Dolls — they had some bangers — but we all know Nicole Scherzinger was the only one crooning in that girl group. Josie does not want to go down that road, which is why she puts up a big middle finger to Mr. Cabot’s branding model and stages some tryouts at Molly’s Crisis. Will this work out for her? Probably not, but I have to say, I cheered pretty loudly when Josie handed Alex his ass over his refusal to stand up to his dad. Grow a spine, man!
Alyssa: Alex is a waffler, and I’m pretty sure he will always be a waffler. Still, he shows up for her auditions at Molly’s Crisis, and they look at some … talent. Josie does find some diamonds in the rough: Cricket, who has a powerhouse voice but a wicked case of stage fright, and Trula, an activist drummer who really needs to pay her bills. They may not have the model looks of Mr. Cabot’s girls, but they can sing and they can play. Josie is thrilled to find her new sisters in arms, and they seem to have a great sound together. Do you think Mr. Cabot will care about their music? Absolutely not.
Jessica: Everyone knows the music comes second when you’re putting a band together, right? Honestly, I’m beginning to see why the Cabot record producing arm of the family business shuttered years ago. The song Josie and The New Pussycats were playing was a JAM and I’m happy she finally put her foot down and decided to cut ties with the label. Who starts their music career with a label deal these days anyway? Get your tunes on Tik Tok girl! Become YouTube famous. There are so many avenues and it feels like one of the more authentic storytelling choices to have Josie exploring those. Less real? The fact that she and Alex are exchanging I love yous after just a few weeks. There’s been too much turmoil in this relationship to go all in like that. We literally just found out he once banged his sister. SLOW. DOWN. JOSIE.
Alyssa: I had a similar reaction to those declarations of love. It’s a mess. Also a mess is Jorge, who learns in this episode that sometimes juggling two hotties is harder than one (Everyone would have told you this, buddy). He and Bernie are in a pretty good place, making out in the hallway and being generally quite cute together. However, after learning that Buzz came out at work, Jorge is feeling a pretty strong pull to his ex. Add in the fact that he came to his protest and wants to help him hunt down who beat him up and Jorge is back in it. What do you do when you are struggling with a case of the feels? Why, you invite the object of your misplaced affection for tea and drag makeovers, of course!
Jessica: Because giving him a Legally Blonde-inspired drag alter ego and fitting him in a smoking hot dress will cool off those feels immediately, right? Jorge, you sweet, stupid boy. While I do love his relationship with Buzz, I’d really like to see it remain a friendship. To have Jorge help Buzz navigate being newly out, trying out something like drag to see if it’s for him, that would be such a fun, interesting storyline. Also, Bernie is the f*cking best. Appreciate what you’ve got my dude.
Alyssa: That would have been nice, but that is not what we got. Jorge goes to an extremely distracted Pepper with his relationship woes, and she floats the idea of an open relationship or a throuple before ending on a threesome. Jorge is intrigued and takes both of his boy toys out for drinks under the guise of making peace because Bernie hasn’t been thrilled about Jorge’s gushing over Buzz’s new attitude and drag persona. Turns out, in a friendlier setting, Bernie likes Buzz! Like, like likes Buzz. Jorge is mostly thrilled, but you can see a slight pang of jealousy come through the cracks. However, Miguel starts to play, and everyone knows that is the universal musical cue for sexy times, so they all make out and then end up in Jorge’s bed. Pepper, however, was in for less of a fun time.
Jessica: When you find out your social media troll is your ex-wife who you left in the lurch in a Morrocan jail, you’re having a bad night. Pepper’s story continues to make this whole show worth it for me but I honestly did not see this plot twist coming. With so many skeletons coming out of her closet, it’s only a matter of time before her house of cards comes crashing down right?
Alyssa: This episode certainly set up quite a bit of messy drama to come. Jorge wakes up to see Bernie and Buzz entwined in bed while he’s left out in the cold, which is definitely not where he expected the night to end. Our poor boy is definitely going to have to work through some stuff if they’re going to give this new dynamic a try. I was also really into the idea of Pepper have a secret wife, and honestly, I’m ready for the show to set up Pepper as a full-blown villain. I think that would be waaaaay more interesting than whatever is going on with her now. Just embrace the grift, girl. It’s what you’re good at. I admit that I was getting really tired of both Josie and Katy’s storylines because they kept falling into repetitive patterns, but Josie at least seems to be branching off on her own.
Jessica: Yeah, there’s real room to grow with Josie’s new path and perhaps under Guy’s tutelage Katy will realize she doesn’t need to be in control of everything. I’m happy to watch her struggle a bit longer first though. I’m concerned about Jorge’s love life, mostly because I’d like to see that boy get a win and it’d be nice to have a stable, happy gay couple doing well on TV. But really, whatever they want to do with Pepper is fine by me — the crazier the better. I am living for this messy con artist drama right now.